Today’s lesson is designed to help you, the investor, get more comfortable interviewing sellers and their mobile homes for sale. This exercise is aimed to help prepare you to:
- know when a seller is full of B.S.
- look for warning signs in any mobile home
- get comfortable being in control while interviewing sellers and properties.
There is an old real estate saying that says “Sellers are liars”. Personally I do not believe this statement. Likewise you could make the same argument about Buyers.
The list below represents only a fraction of the scenarios that may happen to you when you are personally speaking with a seller or over the phone with a seller. Keep in mind your goal is to always have clarity in what home you are buying. If you discover more repairs needed than what was originally disclosed the deal is not necessarily over however the price and terms will now be renegotiated in your favor. Does this make sense?
Disclaimer: The below role-playing exercise is based solely from of my personal experience and the experience of the clients I help.
Friendly Place Road, Anywhere, USA
Scene: You are walking inside and around a nice looking single-wide mobile home with your friendly seller. This manufactured home was built in 1989 and has 3 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms. The seller is needing to sell in the next 45 days due to job transfer out of state. The sellers are happy to be starting a new life in another state and you are happy for them both.
The home is a smaller 12ft x 55ft mobile home with a split floor-plan, 2 bedrooms up front and the master bedroom in the back. The home backs up to a wooded preserve so it is peacefully quite. The mobile home has been on the market for 90 days with 2 buyers wanting the home but not getting approved at the park. You are very interested in the home and have already discussed purchasing the homes for a substantially reduced price and a fast sale.
1.) You are a trained mobile home investor so you know to walk around and step on every-square-foot of floor inside the home. You feel a 1ft x 4 ft “weird-spot” in the floor next to the children’s bed. The carpet is nice but you can’t help feeling that there is something wrong with this spot under the carpet. You ask the seller about this?
The seller tells you that this spot was always like that since they moved in and that it has never gotten any worse.
What do you do next? Clarity is key. Is the mobile home splitting, its it a raised beam, or simply a repair-job gone bad? You need to know what you are dealing with before making any offers.
Ask to pull the carpet up gently and look at what the issue really is. Replace the carpet after you are done. If you really like the home and the seller hesitates at allowing you pulling up their carpet you may want to offer to pay a flat fee of $10-$40 for the inconvenience of temporarily pulling up their carpets. If/when you purchase the home this money will be deducted from the purchase price.
If after you explain your intentions with the seller and they disagree you must assume that this piece of sub floor will need replacing or there are structural issues. Contacting your handyman or woman to walk through the home with you is the next step before purchasing. This will also give you more face to face time with the seller.
2.) The seller tells you that 2 other separate buyers wanted to buy the home but the park denied their applications.
This may tell you that you? This may tell you that you may run into this similar problem when trying to resell this home. Keep in mind you will have more buyers compared to the seller because you are willing to sell for monthly payments. It is important to always verify what every mobile home park screens for in their background and credit checks. If the park is too strict with their application process you might consider passing on the deal.